Poorly Placed, Perfectly Situated

The mission for three servants was simple: Provide a cure to Naaman! The first servant came upon her assignment almost by accident as a…

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Young Girl who was on the surface was POORLY PLACED, but found out she was PERFECTLY SITUATED (2 Kings 5:2-3)– Now bands of raiders from Aram (Israel and Aram were ethnically related), had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

Talk about a poor placement for a young girl who was taken from her homeland, and family- what we would call her a non-enemy combatant—a treasure for an Aram raider who went about inflicting terror on the Israelites, leaving them constantly in fear of losing their livelihood, their family, and their life. It is telling that she is a nameless servant, without rights or identity to her captors. It is in horrible placement that she could have avoided bringing up the name Elisha or approached the assignment with apathy—why help these people, “they ruined my life! Let his life come to rot!” and yet from the beginning she shows herself poorly placed, but perfectly situated to speak truth into the life of someone who didn’t yet know God.Poorly placed, perfectly situated. Craig Groeschel in his book (IT, pg 176-177) described a scene at the local swimming pool with his kids that reminded him of this possibility.  While swimming he met another dad who was a coach. After some casual conversation, he asked Craig in a competitive dad-to-dad sort  of way, “How long do you think you can hold your breath underwater?” Even at the age of forty, he could feel the rush of excitement anticipating a contest between men. He doesn’t know who he’s talking to, Craig thought smugly. He grew up watching Auqaman. “I don’t know,” he replied, his heart pumping.” Maybe a minute.” This was quite a humble response; he secretly believed he could do more than that.  (He challenged me to give it a try) and, seconds later he was underwater ready to prove his aqua manhood. As the seconds slowly ticked by, he felt my lungs tighten. Panic set in. Could I drown doing this? Deciding that drowning was better than losing, he stayed under. He could feel my face turn burn. His eyes opened wider. Longer. Longer. Just a few seconds longer. Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, he burst out of the water gasping for air. He was still alive.

The coach smiled and said, “Impressive! You stayed under for one minute and twelve seconds!” That’s what I am talking about.

(The coach said, “What would you say if I told you that I could help you double your time?” What? He’d been played. (The dad) He wasn’t going to compete against me. The wimp! He was trying to teach me some sort of “I’m a coach and you’re not” lesson. Maybe he didn’t know that I almost died moments ago.)

“You’re smoking weed,” I blurted. “That’s what I’d say.” The coach continued his tone more fatherly. “If you pay attention, I’ll teach you something that will inspire you to do even more than you’ve ever done before.” He had my full attention. The coach began to talk to me almost hypnotically, explaining a claiming technique that was sure to increase my time. “You can do more than you realize,” he assured me. “your body can survive underwater for several minutes. Your mind doesn’t believe that. Your greatest limitation is your mind. you must silence your mind. Take four deep breaths. Slide slowly into the water. Close your eyes. Remain perfectly sill. When your lungs tighten, don’t worry. You still have a lot more time. When you think you can’t go on, open your eyes. Focus on something. Count slowly to twenty. When you get to twenty, count again.” Armed with this advice, I followed his instructions…Finally I had enough and came up for air. This time when I cam out of the water, my coach was beaming as he told me the new record was 2:45…I was elated, pumped, jazzed, and shocked. How did I do that? I stayed underwater for almost three whole minutes. I didn’t know I had that in me.

Then the coach looked me in the eye and said, “You have more in you than you realize. God has put more in you than anyone knows.” God spoke to me that day. About more than oxygenation potential. That’s why I now regularly say to him (God) to STRETCH ME!

Poorly placed, perfectly situated—STRETCH ME. You’ve probably looked around at times in your life and wondered, “Where am I,” in the last place or situation that you desired to be, and yet the last place you want to be is the first place you need to be to be used by God. Maybe you felt like you were underwater. Yet, we see it throughout scripture how when we seek to serve God we may feel Poorly placed but are actually perfectly situated. In fact, we see this throughout scripture—Joseph—the OT hero—lived this out, thrown into a pit by his brothers, living as a servant, rotting as a prisoner (poorly placed)—finally declaring perfect 50:20 Vision—“You intended to harm me, but god intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives (perfectly situated).” In fact, Paul revealed that even as God gives us free will, he also prepares for our faithfulness–Ephesians 2:10- 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

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